A Slice of Fried Gold

Sasquatch Day 3

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Erik, me, Sheri, John, and Trent right after Sasquatch ended

The third and final day was upon us. For this day, I'm going to skip all the details on every band and focus on three bands that rocked my world in particular on the last day. Not that every band wasn't great, but these three were particularly awesome.

Kirk Huffman from Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground

I think I mentioned a few times I was really excited about seeing Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground. Sprung from the ashes of my favorite band Gatsby's American Dream, this band that is fronted by Gatsby's bassist Kirk Huffman makes gloriously dense music for the hippie in all of us. It's truly exceptional music, and I'd say they were the band I was most looking forward to besides the Flaming Lips.

I absolutely loved their performance. This is a band who knows how to do a production on a shoestring budget. They had dancers, beautiful singalongs, fresh flowers/plants on stage, andbunches of cool little decorations (hanging spinny things, scarves on mics, etc.) which led to probably the best looking set on the Yeti stage. Besides that, they played a stellar set reaching throughout their debut self-titled LP, including personal favorites "Birds (on a day like today)" and "Simon Courage Flees the Coop."

The beautiful thing about their set was that they provided a live performance that sounded very close and good in comparison to the LP, but felt confident enough in their abilities to jam and improvise within songs to provide something new to their fans. That's the sign of a good band, and I really can't wait for these guys to hit it big so everyone in the world can share in the glory that is Kay Kay.

The Mars Volta

Cedric from the Mars Volta preparing to jump!

The Mars Volta shredding

The band that had the primo (or terrifying, depending on your point of view I suppose) slot of opening for the Flaming Lips was the Mars Volta. This is a band that I respect, but have never been too into because frankly, their music is too intense for me. It's chock full of brilliant components, but it's just too dense for my pop sensibilities.

Live though, this band absolutely kills it. I've never seen a band bring as much energy as they did - at one point, I legitimately thought the set was going to be cancelled because the lead singer was going absolutely insane throwing things into the audience, attempting to destroy video cameras, and generally freaking out. Thankfully he calmed down, and they played for at least an hour straight at the most frenetic pace I've ever seen a band play at.

I always thought their sound would be hard to recreate live, but strangely it ended up working out as it gave them more room to breathe - opening up the floor for jam offs, freakouts, and interludes that didn't exist. As my buddy Erik said, one of their songs was supposed to be five minutes long and it ended up being around 12 minutes long. Not exactly normal, but certainly spectacular. I guess that clearly defines their set fairly well.

The Flaming Lips

Wayne Coyne rocking it

Maraca + Gong = good idea

Wayne Coyne looks like he's in a lava pit!

Confetti everywhere at the Flaming Lips show

Up last, and by far the best show at Sasquatch and the best show I've ever seen was the Flaming Lips UFO show. Why was it so spectacular? Singalongs, amazing energy, dancing teletubbies, confetti, naked women, everything. It was incredible. Nothing could ever compete against it. I don't think I'll ever enjoy something as much as I enjoyed singing along to "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1" at Sasquatch. It was a fantastic experience that had to be witnessed to be believed.

This band went from being a well liked but criminally under listened band to an all time favorite in one show. Their live performance was so stellar that they cannot be denied. After the show, everyone agreed that they were abuzz with positive energy from the show. You can't ask for much better than what they provided, and if you say otherwise I'm unsure if you're telling the truth. A stellar finish to a great day.

Band of the day

The Flaming Lips were far and away the best band I've ever seen live. It has to be them here.

Surprise of the day

The Mars Volta being as incredible as they were. Also, Siberian coming out of nowhere and putting on a very good set.

Disappointment of the day

The Flaming Lips only playing 2 hours. I expected at least 2 and a half out of them. Also, missing out on Jamie Lidell and Ghostland Observatory, whom I heard were great and wanted to see badly.

Day 3 grade: A+

Bands seen: Dyme Def, the Choir Practice, Yeasayer, Whalebones, Matt Costa, the Hives, Built to Spill, Siberian, Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Battles, Flight of the Conchords, the Mars Volta, the Flaming Lips.

Festival Grade: A

Day 3 was the best day for sure, although the festival as a whole was incredible. Even better than my Bumbershoot experience, which was stellar but did not feature such incredible performances. Day 3 singlehandedly featured 3 of my likely top 5 all time performances that I've ever seen. The best way imaginable to close out the festival, and something I'll remember forever.

Sasquatch Day 2

Friday, May 30, 2008

Enter day 2 of Sasquatch, a day that started far better than the first day. Why? Instead of an extended nap, I got a full night of sleep - 10 hours!!! - and felt incredible and ready to take on the world. Plus Sheri made eggs, steak, and potatoes for us for breakfast, so my belly was full of deliciousness. Of course going in, no one was really excited about the day's lineup besides myself.

John and I on the shuttle to Day 2

The big bands playing were not super exciting, but there was plenty in terms of smaller bands and comedians to check out, so I figured this would be my day of adventuring the Sasquatch experience and really getting involved with the other stages. Of course, to counter that, we of course got a way better section of grass to lay upon today. In fact, I'd say you really could not get that much better than where we were sitting. It was very ideal, with no obstructions, a clear view and very far up - not to mention perfectly flat (which was way different than day 1).

"Awesome" being absolutely awesome

The first band up today was a band named "Awesome" whom I had never heard of. However, I knew two things - Sheri thought they sounded great and I thought their name was absolutely fantastic - so I had to check them out. Surely enough, they were in fact awesome, as they played a really bizarre form of comedy rock that featured guitar, keyboards, brass instruments, banjo, and five different singers. They were hysterical, and actually sounded like a very good band on top of that, so cheers to them for transcending the limitations the comedy genre lays upon them.

Matt Walsh and Matt Besser (as the Pope) being hilarious

With a bit of a lull in the quality in the music, we went on to check out the comedy tent. This was a really welcome respite on the day, as both segments we saw that day were entertaining. The first one was an Upright Citizens Brigade bit hosted by Matt Walsh and Matt Besser, and featuring stand up performances from Sean Conroy, Tim Meadows, Rich Fulcher, and Jerry Minor. Really, they were all overshadowed by the hosts though who were absolutely hilarious. Matt Besser's impersonation of the Pope was one of the funniest things I've ever seen live in comedy.

Cold War Kids

After comedy and Seattle hip hop group Blue Scholars finished up, I had the tough stretch of my day where I had to jump between a bunch of bands I really liked. Up first were Cold War Kids, who brought their trademark brand of soul powered rock to life very, very well. I'm a big fan of the band, and I thought they played very tight and sounded fantastic. I have to admit, I was saddened that I did not get to see personal favorite track "Hospital Beds" performed, but what are you going to do.

White Rabbits

The reason I missed out on that track was because I had to run off and catch White Rabbits, who were playing a side stage half an hour after Cold War Kids had started. As I have become quite enthralled with their debut album Fort Nightly, it made perfect sense that I abandoned the band whom I was looking forward to really just one more track. Also, I find that the two bands sound fairly similar, but I must admit - Cold War Kids were superior performers. They both sounded fantastic, but Cold War Kids brought a higher sense of energy and passion, while White Rabbits felt like the cool kids who didn't need to try as hard.

Still, a very good performance.

Lazy bastards!

Afterwards, I went back to the mainstage to catch Tegan and Sara and ran down to quickly take some shots and to watch them for a bit as Rogue Wave was starting on another stage 30 minutes after their start as well. When I returned to the blankets to say hello and to get a drink of water, I found the above situation - everyone laying in the sun asleep! What the beep right? We're at a festival and everyone is asleep! Crazy kids. No less, I understand because Tegan and Sara were good but kinda boring. Good banter, but it wasn't exactly the most intense of performances.

Rogue Wave

Rogue Wave was not disappointing, as they were a band I originally greatly disliked but somehow turned it around to like them quite a bit. They sounded perfect, moving from their newest release all the way back to their original release and managing to always sound better than their recorded sound. They weren't very energetic, but their incredible grasp on their sound was enough to make it a special and very entertaining performance. I was saddened though, as my back was absolutely killing me so I raced back off before their set was finished so I could chill on the blankets before Mates of State.

This led to me catching the Presidents (of the United States of America), a band that most everyone knows from their mid 90's hits but one that a lot of people likely don't even know exists anymore. To paraphrase Erik, they were the living embodiment of mediocrity, sounding decent but doing absolutely nothing very well and for sure nothing to get excited over.

Mates of State

After that, John, Sheri, and I raced off to catch Mates of State. This couple band makes some very cutesy pop, and they sounded fine, but once again they weren't too exciting. They were cute as all get out, but nothing about them really stood out as exceptional besides that. After about 7 songs, we made the extremely wise decision to head off and get in line for Brian Posehn's stand up set.

Brian Posehn being hysterical

I had never seen Brian Posehn's stand up before. That's the truth. Many people had told me he was absolutely hilarious, and I knew exactly two things about him: he reads/writes comics (sweet!) and loves basset hounds (score for Sheri!). Besides that, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

What it ended up being is one of the funniest stand up sets I've ever seen. He was dirty, he was ridiculous, he was self-deprecating, he was absolutely hysterical. His jokes ranged from hilarious stories about Dennis Rodman, to tales of his basset hounds, to observations about bands near and dear to the Sasquatch crowd (what he said about the Kooks was especially hilarious - sadly enough, I was missing them to see Posehn, but it was worth it). He was ridiculous, but most of all, he was ridiculously entertaining. Loved every minute of his set, and it was one of my best choices of the weekend to go see him over the Kooks.

Death Cab for Cutie pre-nightfall

Death Cab for Cutie post-nightfall

Death Cab for Cutie

After that, we departed and grabbed some food before Death Cab for Cutie came up. You all may have heard of that band. You know, recent #1 debut on the Billboard charts, trendsetters for the indie crowd, and an all-around beloved Pacific Northwest band. They kicked off their set with the opening track from their new album, "Bixby Canyon Bridge," and then went into a run through of tracks from many of their releases.

Even though their set was incredible sounding and they had great rapport with the crowd, I must admit I was a tad disappointed. For the most part, they played a very similar set to what I had seen them do before (plus songs from new album Narrow Stairs), and they also shyed away from tracks off older albums - no "405," no "Movie Script Ending," no "Blacking Out the Friction."


No less, they sounded great and even better they had a very desirable set time. They played at sunset (as you may be able to tell from above) and the visuals the Gorge provided for us as the audience was nothing short of glorious. Great performance, and one of the most beautiful looking sets I'll likely ever see. Every dot really connected for this set, although I'm fairly certain I was the only person in the group who thought so.

After their set, the Cure was coming on right as Sheri and I were being rejected for our dream - attending the premiere of the Flaming Lips movie Christmas on Mars. It was premiering in a circus tent nearby, but the tickets were all given away and we had no hope of picking them up. Dejected, we watched a good hour plus of the Cure. How were they? In a word, robotic. They seemed like they had done everything they'd already done 1,000 times (which they have) and it really dragged down their set. Not only that, but they all kind of looked like monsters at this point.

We bailed on that, and of course went back to the site to find John's diabetes medicine missing 45 minutes later, leading us to travel back to the Gorge to find the Cure still playing. They ended up playing for 2 and a half hours, and we ended up finding John's medicine. Thank god! Also, thanks to the random stranger who found it and took it the lost and found. You're literally a life saver.

Band of the day

As good as the smaller bands were, Death Cab was very good and stood out amongst the rest. They sounded great as they always do, and their set time really gave them a little somethin' somethin' on everyone else.

Surprise of the day

"Awesome!" "Awesome" kicked the day off in proper fashion, entertaining and dazzling us with their strangely phenomenal musical abilities. They may not be nearly as good recorded, but they definitely entertained me for all of their set.

Disappointment of the day

I missed the Kooks! I'm a big fan of their new release Konk, and I was saddened to miss them. The mere fact that I got to see Brian Posehn makes up for that though.

Day 2 grade: B+

Bands/comedians seen: "Awesome," Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Tim Meadows, Sean Conroy, Rich Fulcher, Jerry Minor, Blue Scholars, Cold War Kids, White Rabbits, Tegan and Sara, Rogue Wave, the Presidents, Mates of State, Brian Posehn, Death Cab for Cutie, the Cure.

An improvement on the first day as I achieved a far greater variety and saw a lot bands I was interested in seeing in. Nothing that touched M.I.A.'s singular peformance, but a lot of very solid performances from bands I really enjoy. Looking good going into day 3 though, as that was my favorite day coming in.

Sasquatch Day 1

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fast forward five and a half hours from the previous post...it's 5 am and we are just finishing setting up our tents so we can go to bed and go to the venue in five short hours. After a car ride with no music (Sheri's car was broken into right before the trip - damn thieves!) all of us were permanently bonded in a trial by fire - a car ride solely dependant on conversations - and were ready for anything at this point. (note: I made four posts today - there are three more below for your reading pleasure)

John and Trent setting up their tent with the sun coming up behind them

Sheri finishing up preparation of breakfast burritos

I suppose what I meant to say was that potentially we could sleep for five hours. But we didn't. Of course not. We slept for two hours, as Sheri and I both got up (to be fair, I slept a bit in the car ride, slept a ton the day before, and slept like a rock for two hours) around 7/7:30 and began getting ourselves situated for the day.

This of course meant breakfast, getting our packs ready to bring in, brushing our teeth, everything. Quick tangent: Sheri was the absolute MVP of the weekend. She made breakfast and dinner for all three days, she brought us snacks and lunch materials for during the day, and she brought sunscreen. Without her, I'd probably be either emaciated or extremely poor right now, plus I'd likely look like a tomato. None of those are good things.

The view of the main stage from above - best venue ever man

After everyone got ready, we all piled aboard the shuttle and got in the enormous line to get in. This gave us time to pick Trent up a pair of sunglasses and time for me to get batteries, so ultimately the line worked out for us. After we got through the line, we rushed in and settled on the best spot we could find - fairly good, but kind of lean-y to the left which wasn't the best deal ever.

Fleet Foxes

The first band up on the main stage was Seattle's Fleet Foxes, bringing their folky, dreamy style of rock to the Gorge at the early hour of Noon. They were very good sounding, if not a bit boring as they just sat there and played. No energy, just performing. That's fine and all, just not my cup of tea - but it did give me time to lay back and work on my tan.

Tangent two: The weather was very good this day, as it was gloriously sunny all day but ended up raining as the day faded to night. Probably 70 to 75 degrees and mostly sunny. Good start!

Sheri, John, and Trent at the blanket


Dengue Fever was up next on the mainstage, and they were interrupted only by Sheri, Erik, and I checking out Newton Faulkner on the Wookie Stage (the stages at the festival were called Sasquatch, Wookie, and Yeti respectively) for a song or two. Both were rather non-descript, but gave more time to rest as we were all crazy tired.

The first band I was really excited about was on the main stage next, and that was Beirut. Beirut is Zach Condon's collective of Balkan styled folk rock artists, and they were very good and did not disappoint. Lots of people on stage that were all very talented multi-instrumentalists, and they performed their tracks very, very admirably. We even got to hear a few new tracks, all of which sounded very promising indeed.

Rainn Wilson disappointing us so well

Up next, we caught a snippet of Ozomatli (entertaining), checked out Kathleen Edwards (cute, but snore inducing), ate some snacks, and then raced off back to the main stage to catch the next big and exciting band - the National.

Or so we thought.

As we sat in excitement, Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office) came out and joked with the audience for a good five or ten minutes, and then informed us that the National's bus had broken down and that they would be missing their set - to be replaced by another performance by Fleet Foxes. Fannnnntastic. Erik and I were massively dejected, until we got back to the blanket where Sheri informed us that she was told that the National would be performing at the Yeti stage at 7:45. Crisis averted!

Vince Mira and the Roy Kay Trio

We did not want to watch Fleet Foxes again, so Erik, Sheri, and I wandered off to check out Vince Mira and the Roy Kay Trio at the Yeti Stage. We had read about him and his Johnny Cash impersonation based set, but we didn't know what to expect. This was the first major surprise of the day - he was incredible. He sounded EXACTLY like Johnny Cash, and this is a fifteen year old kid from Federal Way. It absolutely boggled my mind, and provided one of the most entertaining sets of the day.

After that set, we wandered into the Rock Band building and tried our hand at melting some faces. Rock Band was one of the major sponsors of Sasquatch, so they had an entire building dedicated to it and a competition with prizes for the best band. We obviously did not win, but it was very good time as they had costumes for bands to put on. We looked ridiculous but rocked very hard, and it was great to get out of the sun for a bit.

Tangent three: On the third day we wandered back into the building to find that apparently some band actually scored over 1 million points on a song. I'm convinced that was actually a band playing, but I have no proof of this.

The New Pornographers

Shortly thereafter, we went back to the blanket to check out the New Pornographers, but at this point extreme tiredness was setting in for Erik and I, not to mention I was beginning to get disillusioned at performances. There was absolutely no energy in sets - they were just standing and playing. Sometimes that is good, but not when every group is just like that. There needed to be something to mix that up, and the New Pornographers were clearly not that.

What could save us?


Crudo could! As Erik and I were walking off to go back to the blanket before M.I.A. was to perform, we heard pure insanity coming from the Wookie stage. What was that delicious noise?! Was that...was that rap I hear? It was, as it was Crudo, a new outfit formed by Dan the Automator (Gorillaz self-titled/Handsome Boy Modeling School fame) and Mike Patton (Faith No More).

This was the perfect change of pace, as it was organized chaos on stage - a fusion of rock and slick hip hop beats, plus two incredible emcees and one amazing beat boxing woman. Seriously - best beat boxer this side of Matisyahu. However, even with all the greatness we only got to watch about 10 minutes of the set as it was time for the highlight of the day - M.I.A.

M.I.A. and her backup

Dance party plus!!!

M.I.A. and her party posse

M.I.A. was predictably glorious, coming out with a DJ, a backup singer/dancer, and a dude that just danced. Great energy, sounded fantastic, played a brilliant setlist that seemlessly meshed her two albums, and had really entertaining videos playing on the ginormous screens on both sides of the stage.

However, what really capped off the set and made it so incredible was the fact that with four songs left, she casually invited the audience up on stage to have a dance party with her. So for two songs, she performed with what must have been 100 people on stage with her. One of those songs was personal favorite track "Boyz." It was a hell of a sight to see, and I was horribly envious that I didn't get up there (not without trying of course).

After that, she finished with "Galang" from her first album and "Paper Planes" from her newest album, and it was a stunning way to finish the best set of the day. Great job to M.I.A. on really throwing a change up on the main stage audience.

Rainn Wilson introducing the National

After M.I.A.'s set, Erik and I rushed off to Yeti to catch the National, and once again Rainn Wilson appeared to address the audience, but this time to entertain and to announce that the band would in fact be playing (also to note, he claims that they are the greatest rock band on Earth, which I thought was super cool).

Tangent four: After the set started, Wilson came out front to watch the band. After getting pested by people and getting killed by sound, he walked directly to where Erik and I were standing to watch. This exchange then occurred:

Me: Rainn, I just wanted to say - you're a badass. (reaches hand out to shake hands)
Rainn: Dude...you're alright. (shakes my hand)

Still haven't washed my hand.

Ok. That's a lie. But still, very cool.

The National

As for the National themselves, they were the second best performers of the day, cycling between tracks off their releases Boxer and Alligator and sounding fantastic on all of them. I think their live performance made me respect them even more, as the lead singer has a beautiful voice, but it was extremely interesting hearing him throw even more passion behind the lyrics.

The whole band worked very deftly together, but one major complaint I had was that their drumming has always been the most dynamic of all elements to their songs, but their levels strongly favored the guitars over drums, which killed me! I wanted to hear the dynamic drumming from tracks like "Squalor Victoria" in all their glory, but I felt a little robbed of it. Overall, top notch performance though.

Modest Mouse

Erik and I were dead tired after the National though, and after watching three or four songs of Modest Mouse (didn't feel that special, sounded good, just wasn't feeling it then) we decided to bail altogether and go back to the campsite for some much needed rest. We skipped out on headliners R.E.M. altogether, although in our peaceful slumber I don't think either of us cared.

Band of the day

M.I.A. absolutely rocked the house. No one touched her on the first day, as her show was incredibly dynamic and different than everyone else that performed. Worth the wait, worth the hype. Stellar show.

Surprise of the day

Meeting Rainn Wilson was a thrill, even though in typical David fashion I froze like a deer in headlights and couldn't come up with anything interesting to say. Did not see that coming!

Disappointment of the day

The general homogeny of the day 1 lineup mixed with the lack of energy from performers was pretty disappointing overall to me, but what are you going to do. Definitely put me on edge going in to days 2 and 3.

Day 1 grade: B

Bands seen: Fleet Foxes, Newton Faulkner, Dengue Fever, Beirut, Ozomatli, Vince Mira and the Roy Kay Trio, the New Pornographers, Crudo, M.I.A., the National, Modest Mouse.

Overall, good start to the festival. Some of my disappointments may be tied to the fact I was insanely tired and operating on two hours of sleep, but they still are complaints so I definitely couldn't grade the day flawlessly. Tomorrow I'll post my breakdowns of days 2 and 3, so be expecting that.

Vacation minus the Yeti

Unbeknownst to some readers, my recent vacation was not just a trip down to the Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge in Washington. Oh no. It was much more than that. It was part of my yearly reunion trip with my great friends down in the Portland area, and it was a time to kick back, see the sights and visit with all those that I miss because I never see them any more.

First up, I got in really late (12:30 am) which sucks for all of my Portland friends who had to work the next day - oh wait...that's all of them. Thankfully Erik is a trooper and picked me up, and after we chatted for a long time he decided that he was going to take the next day off and spend it with me. Booyah! We ended up staying up until four in the morning watching music DVD's and syncing Planet Earth on Blu Ray up with Panda Bear's album Person Pitch (craziest thing ever). Great start to the trip!

Myself on my dream ride with Amanda off to the side naysaying

On top of getting to hang out with Erik, long lost good friend Amanda (I hadn't seen her for two whole winters!) came over after work to get Erik and I so we could all get lunch and check out the town and catch up. It was fantastic seeing Amanda once again, as even though I nearly constantly make myself seem retarded around her and perpetually say the wrong thing at the wrong time (tact? what's that?), I still have a grand time with her. This time was even more fun, as it was a really nice day even though all three of us were pretty wiped out.

We went and had lunch at Laurelwood Public House where Amanda and I had mid day beers which were quite tasty and a very delicious lunch, and then we traveled around joking and being generally ridiculous (as you can see from above). After that, Amanda took us home as she had a long trek to Gresham to make (longer than she imagined possible -2 hours!), shortly after which Erik began preparing dinner and his fiance (and all around groovy girl) Katie came home from work.

Katie bowing to her sensei Erik

Such power! Who knew she had it in her?!

Very special thanks go out to Erik and Katie, who took care of me (their special little food baby) for two nights and gave me rides to and from the airport. Quite often I'm shocked when people can deal with me for more than five minutes, and to put me up and feed me for two straight days was above and beyond all expectations. It was so much fun seeing them and I wish I got to hang out with them always. Too bad they're damn hippies and live in Portland. Booooooo!!!!!

Afterwards, we went over to good friend Sobo's place where we met up with him, roommate and friend Todd, and Sobo's fiance Sarah. It was great seeing everyone there as well (constant reunion time - yes!), although it was less good that we went and saw the vileness that was the new Indiana Jones flick afterwards. Still, fun spending time with everyone and I simply can't wait until they all come up in July for Sobo's wedding! Hurrah!

This is how I act when I have people taking care of me for a prolonged period

The next day I spent sleeping (noon baby!) and getting more of an experience with the comprehensive mass transit system Portland (and Tri Met) offers their citizens. I've said it before on here, but I love the Max train system they have there. It's incredibly convenient and if I live there I would purposefully live near it so I could ride it always.

Back to the point though, I went and checked out downtown Portland, went to the gloriousness that is Powell's Books, and had some delicious coffee while getting sold on various non-profit organizations on every street corner. After that, I went to meet up with Todd and await Erik and Katie's arrival so we could go prepare for Sheri picking us up. It was time to begin our Sasquatch journey.

Sheri en route to her house - grinning like mad

Oh wait. No it wasn't. We were picked up near 8 pm, but in reality we didn't leave until 11:30ish. Of course, this gave Erik and I plenty of time to get acquainted with Trent and John, the other two people we were going to Sasquatch with, and plenty of time for Sheri to nearly lose her mind while making sure she didn't forget anything. She of course did, but it was no big deal. It was time for Sasquatch, and there was nothing we could forget to change that.

What's going on back in AK?

Once again, before I get cracking on my Sasquatch related posts, I wanted to get into details about my thoughts about a few things and then a couple current happenings in my life. This post is about current happenings in the good ol' AK, now that I'm back from vacation and getting integrated back into the ebbs and flows of that crazy place.

Before I left, Amy became really interested in the vegan lifestyle, or at least sampling what it had to offer her for a month. This extremely random scenario came to fruition because her good friend Blake decided he was going to do the same thing (as you can see here) and was going to blog about the whole experience no less. She set herself upon the idea, but before I left we had a discussion as to how long I would last as a vegan.

Amy: 45 minutes?
Me: Come on...way longer right? I'd be ok so long as I had milk.
Amy: You can't drink milk - cows remember?
Me: ...
Me: ...
Me: Dammit.

Ok, that isn't exactly how it went, but there was not a lot of confidence in her. While in Portland I quizzed friends and the general consensus was somewhere between one (AMANDA!) and three days (Erik and Sheri I believe). Upon my return, I asked Colver, and he suggested I'd last a week, but to quote him it'd be "because everyone said you couldn't, and knowing you, you'd do it just long enough to prove everyone wrong."

Colver apparently gets me very well. So I'm going to try it, just to see how long I'll last. I'm shooting for a week, but who knows! Maybe I'll last even longer. Maybe I'll love it and develop taste for soy milk and tofu.

Nah. No way. But it's a worthy experiment - but for those concerned, don't worry - I am not getting involved with issues. This is just a study in self control, or better yet, my extreme lack of it. Starting June 1st, it is on.

My Alaskan posse and I (also known while in separate factions as the Crew and the Unit, or the Crewnit when combined) are embarking on a legendary journey this summer taking us from sketchy bar to sketchy bar across the Alaskan wild. This summer is going to be the inaugural Crewnit Alaska Dive Bar Tour, taking us all the way from the Buckaroo Club in Anchorage to Tips in Eagle River, from the Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer to the Comet Club in Fairbanks - we are going to turn this state upside down - Crewnit style.

Should be delicious and ridiculously fun, but special thanks to my good friend Raechelle who designed our shirt logo above. She did a great job and dealt with my needy nature when it came to the shirt design, and I love the finished product. Now we just have to make the shirts and distribute them, and then drink in sketchy places of course. We're good at that last part at least.

As you can see in my post here, Elton John is coming to Alaska for a few performances. After the first show sold out incredibly fast with no tickets coming my way (myself and the Crew all struct out), I managed to secure six tickets for the show this Friday. Tomorrow night after three straight days of wall-to-wall performances, I'm getting myself back in the thick of things for a performance by the Rocket Man himself.

I'm very excited though, as my parents told me it was a good performance on Wednesday, so now I am even more excited for the experience. I'm hoping it will be akin to Neil Diamond's performance, which was incredibly fantastic facing lowered expectations. Just can't let those get too high, but it's really hard not to fall victim to Hannah's limitless enthusiasm for the show. I just hope it's good so she isn't disappointed, but I have faith the man will bring it like only he can.

Mmmmm...Pop Culture...

Before I get cracking on my Sasquatch related posts, I wanted to get into details about my thoughts about a few things and then a couple current happenings in my life. This post is about my thoughts, specifically those directly related towards a couple recent pop culture milestones. Check it.

While I was off down in Portland visiting with friends, one of the things we had to do of course was go check out the new Indiana Jones movie, titled Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. We're all big Indy junkies, so we were all very, very excited to see it. What'd we think?

I prefer to think that they never made it. To me, the Indy series ended with Last Crusade. Maybe in time I will think this movie was adequate, but as of right now I think it was a travesty and a money grab, as I felt that everyone phoned their roles in besides possibly Shia LaBeouf. Not only that, but the whole movie stunk of George Lucas, as fun stunts and action scenes from the original three were replaced with CGI aplenty. Besides that, blatant ridiculousness and shoddy scripting weighed down the film as well. Also, Russians are not a comparable replacement for Nazis. Seriously. You can't even compare the two.

Needless to say, I didn't like it. If you're a fan of the series, be wary.

On the comics front (I'm thinking of starting up a weekly segment about this - exciting right?), this week featured the arrival of Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1. Why is this a big deal? This is the culmination of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's run on the title, spanning 25 absolutely genius issues and capping off what is my all-time favorite run on any X-Men title.

And boy did they go out with a bang. Sure everything that happened was a little predictable (even in its awesomeness), but this issue featured everything - Whedon's trademark wit, great action sequences, saucy innuendo, sad goodbyes, giant action pieces, and most importantly, Cassaday's incomparable art. In my opinion, you just cannot get better than John Cassaday when it comes to pencils - the man is a god with art supplies. It reminded me of February's final issue of Y the Last Man, especially with the way it wrapped up.

If you like comics, it's an absolute crime to not have read this whole series already. In terms of recent runs on iconic heroes, you really cannot do much better.

Well hello there flipside, nice to see you! This week also featured the release of the first issue of DC's mega-event - Final Crisis (I almost put final in quotations - I don't believe that this is really the last crisis). After an entire year of build up in the moderately atrocious and occasionally vaguely readable Countdown, we're treated to an entire issue featuring a dream creative team (as opposed to the trash that was creating Countdown - sorry Paul Dini and Sean McKeever, but downgrade) - Grant Morrison and JG Jones (on interiors! happy day!).

Sadly though, even though we have a dynamic team to read from, all we're left with is a scattered mess that does absolutely nothing for us besides needlessly killing a legendary hero in a far less than heroic way. Great right? Sure, Marvel's Secret Invasion has been less than perfect so far, but first issue to first issue, Marvel has such a commanding lead in summer events it isn't even close.

Hopefully Morrison is going somewhere with this, as I trust he would be because the man rarely doesn't succeed. Count me in as a skeptic for once though. This series scares the crap out of me, and I really hope it doesn't fall short of the mammoth amounts of hype that preceded it. With DC's recent track record, I really am beginning to question it though. Good luck team, you're going to need it.